Jeff Klinkenberg is a devotee of Florida, a rare breed of native son who has embraced Florida’s beauty, faults, and immense changes. The reason? He searched harder for the stories of realFlorida. In fact, for nearly four decades as a writer for the Tampa Bay Times(formerly the St. Petersburg Times), his column “Real Florida” was a direct pipeline by which he could illuminate the people, places, and problems of Florida to readers with unmistakable wit, narrative style, and effervescent reverence.
While not an environmental reporter by trade, his work always spotlighted the natural settings of Florida, from the springs and the swamps and the oceans to the rural towns and overlooked spots where grime might be just as easily found as beauty. As the years went on, more of his work focused on the disappearance of nature in the face of overdevelopment and overpopulation.
Klinkenberg is the author of six books, most recently Son of Real Florida: Stories from My Life and Alligators in B-Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida and is the 2018 recipient of the Florida Humanities Council Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing.
For more on Klinkenberg and his views on the Florida’s environment, check out our CJC Environmental Heroes page.
Click below to see his presentation on Nov. 8, 2018 at the Bob Graham Center in UF’s Pugh Hall.